Fix 'Card Cannot Be Accessed' Error in Canon Without Losing Data

Cannon camera SD card reports an error [Card cannot be accessed. Reinsert/change the card or format card with camera]. Formatting SD card would wipe data out and fix the problem. Do not rush to format the card if tons of pictures are there. Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from an inaccessible SD card, and then remove the error with your camera or PC.

Table of Contents

How to fix a card cannot be accessed error in Canon camera effectively? First, recover data from your camera, then, format the SD card in Canon camera.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Recover Data from SD Card Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from an inaccessible SD card, and then formatting...Full steps
Fix 2. Format SD Card in the camera Fix card cannot be accessed error in Canon camera. Hold the Up/Down button and open the menu...Full steps

Error message - "Card cannot be accessed. Reinsert/change the card or format card with the camera."

card cannot be accessed cannon

Canon SD Card Error

This is a common error accepted by Canon owners when they insert a card reader in the digital camera/DSLR/camcorder. So far, quite a lot of popular Canon models are infected, including:

  • Canon 7d, t5i, 80d, 6d, t1i, rebel t5, t3, 500d, 5d mark iii...

The "memory card cannot be accessed" error would prevent you from taking photos or viewing files. As the full error message implies, [1] try to reinsert the card a couple of times, [2] change the card with a new one, or [3] format the SD card in the camera. Those manners are meant to make the card function well.

Before taking action to troubleshoot with suggestions, you must find a digital camera recovery solution first. Data recovery is prior to SD card repair, as long as you cannot afford to lose the media files in the malfunctioning storage card.

Quick Tip: If it's a brand new memory card that you use for the first time, make sure that you format the SD card to FAT file system, which digital cameras can recognize properly.

How to Recover Data from Inaccessible SD Card

Since formatting an SD card would wipe data out, do not rush to format the card if tons of pictures and video clips are there. Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from an inaccessible SD card, and then remove the error with your camera or PC.

What if you've formatted the card before coming to this solution? Don't bother, EaseUS hard drive recovery software is still able to recover formatted SD card data. Try to protect your lost videos and photos from overwriting by taking new photos. This act would help keep the lost data intact and safe for recovery.

Step 1. Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card. Then click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.

select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to quickly find wanted files.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Restore SD card data.

You can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them. Then click Recover to save found SD card files to a secure location on your PC or external storage.

recover sd card files

How to Format SD Card in Canon Camera & PC

  • In Canon Camera:

Make sure the camera battery is charged. Insert the SD card in your camera and turn it on.

  • Step 1: Hold the Up/Down button and open the menu.
  • Step 2: Select "Setup" or "Utilities".
  • Step 3: Choose "Format". You'll receive an alert: "Format card. All data will be lost". Leave the "Low-level format" box unchecked because you don't need to do so.
  • Step 4: Select "OK". Take out the SD card and reinsert it in the camera. No error messages are there again. You'll get a blank card for reuse.
  • In a PC:

In fact, you have multiple free-to-use options to format SD card on a Windows computer, like using the diskpart command line and a third-party disk format utility.

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card with a card reader to your PC.
  • Step 2: In the Windows File Explorer, right-click the removable disk that represents your card, and select "Format."
  • Step 3: On the popup window, choose FAT under "File System" and Default Allocation Size under "Allocation Size". For other options, leave alone.
  • Step 4: Click "Start" to format the disk. Safely eject the SD card and insert it back to the camera. No error messages are there again. You'll get a blank card for reuse.

How to Fix SD Card Not Formatted Error

What if you failed to format the SD card on both camera and PC? The causes to the Canon "SD card cannot be accessed" error will be a little different from the above part. For example, it might be SD card write protection, file system corruption, and virus infection. To troubleshoot the error deeper, refer to the article "Windows was unable to complete the format".

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Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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